Nearly 72% of people in the UK unable to name a single symptom of a brain tumour

Written by

Amy McNeill


In a survey of 1,000 people in the UK, nearly 3 in 4 are unable to name a single symptom of a brain tumour, new survey from our charity partner, The Brain Tumour Charity, finds.

The figures follow a Charity Awareness Monitor survey by NFP Research, conducted in October 2022, which also revealed that just 7% of UK adults could name speech or nausea as a potential symptom of a brain tumour.

With less than 20% of people recognising vision changes and dizziness as common symptoms, and only 22% stating that headaches were associated with brain tumours, the charity have recognised that a lot more needs to be done to make sure that these symptoms are recognised as possible brain tumour symptoms.

Over 12,000 people are diagnosed with a primary brain tumour each year and are the leading cancer killer of children and adults under 401.

On Brain Tumour Awareness Month (BTAM) throughout March the need to raise awareness is highlighted by these survey results. The Brain Tumour Charity is using its campaign, “Better Safe Than Tumour”, to support the public – whether adults, children, parents, partners or friends – to be aware of the possible signs and symptoms of the disease.

The charity shared Colchester Mum of one Kate Baker’s story, now a student nurse at Queen’s Hospital, Romford in the Neuro Critical Care department. She was diagnosed in 2016 with a hemangioblastoma brain tumour. In the months leading up to her diagnosis, she began to experience increasingly severe bouts of headaches, nausea and moments of loss of balance.

Kate said:

“I’d been unwell for 15 months with nausea, dizziness & headaches. Which turned into projectile vomiting, falling over & migraines. I visited the GP three times to be given antibiotics for sinusitis. Last port of call was to collapse in Colchester A&E on Sunday 18 December 2016.

“I was blue-lighted down the A12 to wake up on Sahara B ward (Queen’s Hospital, Romford) on Monday 19 December. I was told the most devastating news, that I had a brain tumour that needed surgery.

“If somethings not right go and demand answers from your doctor because it could save your life.”

She is supporting the charity’s #BetterSafeThanTumour symptom awareness campaign this Brain Tumour Awareness Month (BTAM).

Dr David Jenkinson, Chief Scientific Officer at The Brain Tumour Charity, said:

“Being aware of the signs and symptoms of a brain tumour is essential to ensure that those with concerning symptoms feel supported to get the help they need by speaking to their doctors about any health concerns.

“Our campaign is crucial for raising this awareness and we are proud of what it has achieved so far. Brain Tumour Awareness Month is a key opportunity for us to speak about brain tumours and make sure everyone can recognise the symptoms. This recent study shows us that more work has to be done, and we look forward to seeing how Better Safe Than Tumour can influence this.

“We understand from time to time that everyone experiences one or several of these symptoms. However if they are in combination, persistent or you are concerned about your health, we urge you to seek advice from your doctor.”

If anyone is concerned they can speak to the charity on 0808 800 0004 or find out more about the possible signs and symptoms here.

  1. https://www.thebraintumourcharity.org/get-involved/donate/why-choose-us/the-statistics-about-brain-tumours/


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